Meng Foon, Race Relations Commissioner
Meng Foon has taken up the appointment of Race Relations Commissioner, after 24 years at the Gisborne District Council. Mr Foon was elected as a councillor in 1995 and in 2001 he was elected Mayor, a role he held for 18 years. He is one of a handful of people of Chinese descent to have become a mayor in New Zealand. He is fluent in English, Cantonese and te reo Māori. As of 2019, he is still the only mayor in New Zealand who is fluent in te reo. He is a member of a number of community organisations including the Ngā Taonga a Ngā Tama Toa Trust, the New Zealand Chinese Association, and MY Gold Investments Ltd. He has released a musical number, Tū Mai, which includes various native tracks, he has been chair of Gisborne/Tai Rāwhiti Rugby League, and is a member of New Zealand Rugby League. Mr Foon is responsible for leading the work of the Human Rights Commission in promoting positive race relations.